WHEREAS it is the intention of the Mayor and Council of Cherry Hill Township to focus attention on noteworthy occasions and events; and
WHEREAS today, we come together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO); and
WHEREAS in 1969, PATCO became the first of a new generation of mass transportation. PATCO was the first rail line in the country to offer a direct challenge to the private automobile. The rail line provided South Jersey commuters with a quick, inexpensive, and reliable trip to Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS train operation was created to operate at a frequency for commuters that had little time to sit around the station and what few minutes commuters did have were spent in pleasant, modern stations. The air-conditioned stations interiors were designed to feature a clean-lined combination of glass, tile, and concrete – materials believed to be attractively utilized and easy to maintain. To attract commuters to the stations, ample parking was provided at each station. Parking lots were created with ample lighting, fully paved, and drop off locations referred to as “Kiss and Ride” stops – which allowed commuters to be driven to the station and dropped off or picked up; and
WHEREAS the new vehicles were completely automated - allowing train operators to only push a button to start the train and to open and close the doors at each station. The operators also had the ability to stop the train in an emergency and operate under manual control; and
WHEREAS over the fifty years of service, PATCO has undergone changes to adapt to the success it has generated. Parking lots have been expanded to accommodating increased number of commuters driving to the stations; stations have been modernized and improved with the installation of elevators and signage. In 1980, the Cherry Hill Woodcrest Station was constructed with a direct connection to Interstate 295; and
WHEREAS PATCO continues to provide the level of service which it set out to create fifty years ago. In order to maintain that level of service, continued maintenance and repair along with improvements to infrastructure, are required to be performed every day. The work which PATCO employees perform on the equipment and infrastructure will ensure that the line will continue to operate as intended for the next fifty years.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHUCK CAHN, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the Township of Cherry Hill, County of Camden, State of New Jersey, do hereby proclaim Friday, February 15, 2019 to be
PATCO’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Day
in the Township of Cherry Hill, and do urge all citizens to join with me and Council in congratulating PATCO for celebrating 50 wonderful years of providing our citizens with an easy and convenient way to travel.